PARIS, June 3 (RIA Novosti)
Roger Federer dropped a set to a rank outsider for the second-straight match Friday but still had enough to overcome Belgian qualifier David Goffin in the French Open fourth round.
The Swiss third seed was stunned in the first set by the 109th-ranked player, but hit back immediately and saw the match out 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
Federer, who needed four sets to get past 89th-ranked Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in the third round, sets up a quarterfinal with Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, seeded nine, or Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych.
No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down to beat Italy's Andreas Seppi in a five-set marathon earlier Sunday.
The world No. 1 came into the match in imperious form, not dropping a set in his first three games, but lost the first two to the 22nd seed before coming back to register a 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Djokovic had never come closer to defeat in seven previous encounters against Seppi, with the last four wins coming on clay.
He faces the winner of the Stanislas Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga match to be played later at Roland Garros.
He narrowly avoided becoming the latest top player to crash out of the Gran Slam event after Victoria Azarenka suffered a straight-sets defeat to Dominika Cibulkova.
Cibulkova controlled the first set and was a break up in the second before Azarenka launched a comeback, only for the Slovakian to hold her nerve in the tiebreak for a 6-2, 7-6(4) win.
The defeat was Azarenka’s fourth of a season in which she has won the Australian Open and three other titles, while Cibulkova beat the Belarusian for only the second time in nine meetings, not including a walkover in Rome last month.
A host of big names have been knocked out of the women’s draw at Roland Garros, including Agnieszka Radwanska, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
Earlier, Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova failed to live up to the standard of her French Open third-round thrashing of Radwanska as she slumped to a straight-sets loss to Italy’s Sara Errani.
Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion at Roland Garros, was routed in the first set but served for the second a 5-4 up before Errani broke back to seal a 6-0, 7-5 win to book her place in the quarterfinals.
For the Italian, it was the second match in a row that she scalped a former French Open champion, after ousting Ana Ivanovic in the third round.
Errani’s opponent at the quarterfinal stage will be German 10th seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Petra Martic of Croatia 6-3, 7-5 in the last 16.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.